Retro Gaming 90’s- Kirby’s Dream Land 3: (1997)

When it comes down to classic platform titles for Nintendo based game systems many remember the Kirby Dream Land series which started back in the Spring ’92 on Game Boy. The original Kirby Dream Land title for Game Boy was considered to be a high profile classic that sold at least five million copies worldwide. A few years later Nintendo released Kirby Dream Land 2 back in ’95 and despite not being quite as successful as its predecessor was still considered as good in terms of gameplay. Following the release of Kirby Dream Land 2 the third installment within the DL series was released in Japan and America between ’97-’98 for the Super NES. It was a bit surprising seeing Kirby Dream Land 3 for the SNES around the late 90’s especially considering the fact that the Nintendo 64 was released back in ’96. Also, considering that Game Boy had become even more popular by the late 90’s with games such as Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow some people would question why it even appeared on the SNES console in ’97.

While its possible that Kirby’s Dream Land 3 was overshadowed by various high profile released for the PS1 & N64 by ’97 it was still considered to be critically acclaimed game. Kirby’s Dream Land 3 saw the return of Dark Matter the main antagonist from Kirby’s Dream Land 2 along the inclusion of multiple endings depending on how the game was completed. Throughout the game Kirby aligned himself with various friends such as Gooey, Coo and Rick along with other new characters as he seeks to restore peace to the universe following the destruction of the Planet’s rings by Dark Matter. As players progressed throughout the game they were required to collect Heart Stars leading up to the final boss battle. The final boss battle in Kirby Dream Land 3 relied on whether or not players collected all of the Heart Stars which made things more interesting.

For those who did not collect all of the Heart Stars they had to battle King Dedede while he was possessed by Dark Matter just to fight him again in his normal state. If players did not collect all of the Heart Stars before completing the game they were left with a cliffhanger ending which would urge players to play through it a second time to try and unlock the true ending. The true ending of the game came after players battled the true main villain Zero following their encounter with King Dedede & Dark Matter. As far as gameplay and graphics are concerned Kirby Dream Land 3 was definitely the best within the “Dream Land” series because it was on Super Nintendo opposed to Game Boy. However, despite how cool Kirby’s Dream Land 3 was it came out on the SNES a few years to late. Its possible that Kirby’s Dream Land 3 could have been more popular if the game was released for the N64 between ’97-’98. Either way, Kirby’s Dream Land 3 is still an underrated platform classic that would probably be considered a 16-bit hidden gem for the SNES console.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood (1993)

The Castlevania series has been around in the gaming world since its inception back in September 1986 when the very first game in the series appeared on the 8-bit NES. Ever since, the Castlevania series began in the mid-80’s Konami had produced installments within the series on both the NES and the Super NES that were considered to be memorable. Castlevania I-III which were released for NES between ’86-’89 are considered to be 8-bit classics. Also, Super Castlevania IV for the SNES was very impressive following its release in ’91 for special features in relation to Mode 7. Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood was originally released for the PC Engine CD exclusively in Japan before being ported for the SNES and released in various countries between ’95-’96 as “Dracula X”. Unlike Super Castlevania IV Simon Belmont is not the main character in Rondo Of Blood. In Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood players control Richard Belmont a descendant of Simon Belmont in the early 1790’s during a time where Dracula is resurrected. While Dracula is the main antagonist of Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood Simon Belmont must defeat all of his minions to rescue his love interest by the name of Annette.

While attempting to rescue Annette and various other women who were captured by Dracula’s minions players have to travel through nine different levels with a limited amount of weapons at his disposal. Some of the features included in Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood that was interesting included the alternative routes that players had the option of taking which rescuing maidens when traveling throughout castle. Players also had the ability to unlock Maria Renard who was considered to be a distant relative of Simon Belmont who also had her own unique set of attacks when combating enemies. As far as quality is concerned many people would definitely choose the PC Engine CD version of this game over the “Dracula X” port for Super Nintendo. However, the musical quality for the SNES “Dracula X” version of Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood was surprisingly great especially the “Bloodlines” soundtrack from Stage 1. While Rondo Of Blood was a very fun and adventurous 16-bit platformer for the SNES many people might not place it on the same level as Super Castlevania IV or even its ’97 successor Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night for the PS1 in relation to popularity. While its arguable which game within the Castlevania series was most popular back in the 90’s there is no question that Rondo Of Blood/Dracula X was a memorable side-scrolling 16-bit classic that would still hold up to this day.

Retro Gaming 90’s- MegaMan & Bass: (1998)

When it comes down to underrated games within the MegaMan series one of the few titles that comes to mind is MegaMan & Bass from the late 90’s. For those who do not know MegaMan & Bass was initially released for the Super Nintendo a Entertainment System back in April 1998 as Japanese exclusive. MegaMan & Bass did not come to America until August 2002 when it was ported for the Game Boy Advance. The interesting thing about MegaMan & Bass water fact that the game could have been very popular in America if it were released for the SNES anytime between the ’94-’96. Also, MegaMan & Bass saw the introduction of a new villain by the name of King while allowing players to play as either character in order to compete the game. In some ways Capcom’s MegaMan & Bass was a bit similar to Sega’s Sonic & Knuckles in the sense where players had the opportunity to select the main character along with his rival in order to fight against a much bigger threat. As far as replay value along with overall quality is concerned many would probably argue that MegaMan & Bass was a better game than MegaMan 7 from 1995.

In MegaMan & Bass players had the freedom to choose the which Robot Masters they wanted to fight in the beginning between which unlocked other bosses as they progressed throughout the game. Completing certain stages ultimately lead to players gaining access to the security room where players must destroy eight crystals collected by Robot Masters in order to unlock fortress stages. One of the downsides of MegaMan & Bass was that players could not switch back and forth between either character. Once a player had selected MegaMan or Bass they were locked as either character for the rest of the game. Despite, the improved gameplay that MegaMan & Bass has in comparison to MegaMan 7 the MMX series seemed way more popular during the mid to late 90’s. In fact, MegaMan X4 was released worldwide back in ’97 for the PS1 which became a way more popular game system than the Super NES. While its a shame that MegaMan & Bass did not receive a SNES release in America back in the late 90’s many people believe that the visuals we got to see on the Game Boy Advance in the early 00’s was more superior. As a action/platform game MegaMan & Bass was well received by fans and critics alike and felt more memorable than the MegaMan Zero series from ’02-’05 depending on who you ask. As far as underrated 2D platform classics from the 90’s are concerned MegaMan & Bass was definitely a game that should have been ported for PS1 during the late part of that decade. While the MegaMan X series was a blast from ’93-’00 MegaMan & Bass deserved an American release for the SNES despite how old the console had become by 1998.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Aero The Acrobat: (1993)

There were various 16-bit platform games from the early 90’s that were considered to be memorable classics for the Super NES. For those who are retro gamers titles such as Super Mario World, Mega Man X, Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood, Donkey Kong: Country and many other 16-bit platformers instantly comes to mind. One of the few classic 16-bit platform games that may have bee overshadowed back in the 90’s was a game known as Aero The Acrobat. There is no doubt that Aero The Acrobat was a pretty unique platform game developed by the now defunct Iguana Entertainment and published by Sunsoft. Aero The Acrobat was released for both the SNES and the Sega Genesis. As far as the plot for Aero The Acrobat was concerned it was a bit more intriguing and somewhat darker than other popular platforms such as the Sonic The Hedgehog Trilogy or Super Mario World. The story saw Aero The Acrobat who was a top level circus star trying to thwart the plans of the main antagonist Edgar along with his Psycho Circus gang. In the process Aero The Acrobat has to resuce his girlfriend known as Aeriel along with the other circus performers captured by Edgar.

As far as Edgar’s backstory is concerned he becomes a malevolent industrialist following his banishment from Funpark and The World Of Amusement Circus. The gameplay in Aero The Acrobat involved maneuvering throughout various levels by jumping through hoops using roller coasters, etc. When it came down to fighting off enemies Aero had about two basic offensive attacks which blended well with his character. Also, the setup for Aero The Acrobat was different from what you would normally see in other platformers since the game only had four worlds that consisted of five levels. Aero The Acrobat was eventually re-released for the Game Boy Advance in ’02 while receiving a direct sequel for both the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis the following year during 1994. As a platform game Aero The Acrobat was one that stood out from other platform titles since the main character seemed more like a darker protagonist opposed to being a traditional hero with strong”moral” and “values”. While it may not have been the most high profile platform titles to have come out of the 16-bit era it was a game that is still considered to be memorable to those who have owned it.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Harvest Moon: (1996)

When we think about legendary yet underrated SNES games from the mid 90’s that may have been overlooked one the few titles that instantly comes to mind is Harvest Moon. For those who do not know Harvest Moon was the first ever installment of the Story Of Seasons series and was initially released in Japan back in August 1996. Harvest Moon had different publishers depending on what country it was released in. The Japanese publisher for the original Harvest Moon game known as Pack-In-Video had became defunct the same year it was released in October 1996; while Natsume became the publisher for the American port. Harvest Moon was very special for the SNES especially considering the fact that the world had never seen a game like it before. Farm-simulation RPG games were not too common back in the early or mid 90’s and Harvest Moon seemed liked somewhat of an attraction because it was something different. However, Harvest Moon was a title that could have definitely been more successful than it was if the game was released a few years earlier than it was. By the mid 90’s consoles such as PlayStation and Nintendo 64 were turning heads especially since 3D gaming was starting to become more appealing during that time period.

Despite, Harvest Moon being overshadowed the game had an interesting plot that saw players control a young man who attempts to restore and maintain his grandfather’s farm which he gains through inheritance. Throughout, Harvest Moon players engage in various activities that include planting crops, raising livestock, selling harvests along many other things. Harvest Moon had realistic aspects that involved the players responsibility as pertained feed livestock on a daily basis along with water crops. As realistic as Harvest Moon was the game was somewhat forgiving since crops never died from lack of water. However, if the livestock that players owned were not given proper care they would ultimately perish. The Story Of Seasons series is one that has become legendary within the world of gaming and has been around for approximately over 22 years now. Even though, Harvest Moon was not to big in sales following its release the game was still critically acclaimed and is considered to be somewhat of a hidden gem for the Super NES.

SNES Games Confirmed for Nintendo Switch Online in the near future!!!

If you currently own a Switch console and have a subscription to Nintendo’s Online service you will be happy to know that SNES titles from the 90’s are expected to be available sometime this month. The Super NES games that have been confirmed to appear on Nintendo Switch Online this includes Star Fox 2, Super Punch Out, Breath Of Fire 2 and Kirby Super Star. The games just mentioned were all released between ’94-’96 with exception of Star Fox 2 which was initially released back in 2017. As it currently stands there are only four games announced to appear on Nintendo Switch Online and there is almost no question that more titles will eventually be available to subscribers throughout 2020. It should noted that the SNES Classic was very popular following its release back in late September 2017 and sold out very quickly as it relates to pre-orders. Just about every game featured on the SNES Classic was legendary and many gamers from today’s generation who are Switch owners can enjoy them for themselves if they are interested.

Based on what has been reported the four SNES games announced to appear on Nintendo Switch Online will come on December 12th. In addition, to having SNES title on the hybrid console it has also been confirmed that two classic NES games Journey to Silius, Crystalis will also appear on the Nintendo Switch in a few days as well. These are all titles from the 8 and 16-bit era that will definitely appeal to retro gamers if they do not have the NES or the SNES Classic by now. Hopefully we will see another set of SNES games for Nintendo Switch Online sometime in early 2020.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Sparkster: (1994)

During the console wars between Nintendo and Sega that took place throughout the 90’s there were so Man big titles that appeared both on the SNES and Genesis that were classics. Sparkster a game that was both developed and published by Konami and released in ’94 may not necessarily be considered a classic by many people ; but it was still a solid platform shooter game during its time on the SNES. Sparkster was considered to be the direct sequel to Rocket Knight Adventures which came out back in ’93 exclusively for the Sega Genesis. As far as visuals and sprites were concerned many people would argue that Sparkster was more superior than Rocket Knight Adventures was on the Genesis console. Also, the soundtrack from Sparkster was pretty good especially the first stage which was arguably one of the most underrated 16-bit theme songs from the early 90’s. The plot for Sparkster was pretty basic and involved the Rocket Knight known as Sparkster trying to rescue a princess by the name of Flora within the kingdom of Eginasem.

The goal of rescuing Princess Flora comes with trying to overcome an onslaught of animal-based soldiers affiliated with the Lioness army; while dealing with a key antagonist known as Rocket Knight Axel Gear who aligned himself to take down Sparkster. The formula used in creating this game seemed intriguing since it took elements from popular platform games if the early 90’s and blended them into one. The damsel in distress element is one that has basically definite Super Mario games since its inception back in the mid 80’s. The idea of having a rival/nemesis to make life more difficult for the main protagonist is somewhat similar to what we got in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 back in ’94 when Knuckles The Echidna made his video game debut. The side scrolling shooter element of Sparkster felt somewhat similar to that of Mega Man X which was released for the SNES back in ’93. Following its initial release the feedback that Sparkster received a positive reception from critics for being an improvement over its predecessor. Despite, Sparkster not being on the same level as games such as Super Mario World, Mega Man X, Super Castlevania IV in relation to the platform genre its still a retro 16-bit that some people are still quite fond of to this day.